Survival Camp - First Morning

Survival Camp - Campfire Square

During the day this area is a small clearing that sits just big enough to land four dragons in it, though by night it becomes an inferno where a fire is built up that licks its stray bits of lights to the ground just before the barracks nearby. The two barracks sit across from each other in strong contrast, the leader barracks being a comfortable modern barracks that looks clean and kept in good eminence while the follower barracks has a sharp destitute about it, looking that the ivy and decay is a day away from making the whole thing collapse.

It's early morning, the sun is not even up yet, but the campfire is still flickering, feebly, but tended by a quiet few candidates, one or another occasionally poking at the embers with a stick, not saying a word to one another. One of those is Karona, dressed exactly as she always does - clean but worn trousers and long sleeves, the only difference to her winter-wear being the lack of a jacket. The woman has been unusually quiet since arriving yesterday, though the trip had been no surprise. Her mouth seems set in a perpetual frown, as she pokes at the embers.

Iessrien has been up for some time already, despite the pre-dawn hour, the holder boy having slept uneasily, and gone to the river to wash long before most were awake (the habit doubtlessly carried over from the time spent in the barracks). Returning with his hair damp and a towel absently fluffing the dark locks, he angles slowly toward the campfire, jerking his head in a nod to a few of the other holdborn candidates, also mostly awake, though he seems more intent on his destination than stopping to chat. As usual, the holder is wearing dark clothes, black pants and short-sleeved shirt accompanied by boots of similar shade, the only deviation to this being the silver of his belt buckle and the thin, glinting chain about his neck, which holds that rectangular charm he's been wearing since his turnday. Pondwater-blue eyes spot Karona, flick toward the fire, and then toward a woodpile, some of which he supposedly helped collect the day before. Bending down, he retrieves a sizeable piece and moves to set it in the fire, despite the smith's poking of the embers, muttering an absent, "Morning," to the girl without looking at her again.

Karona glances up as Iessrien greets her, with a vaguely grunted "Morning." in response, though a moment later she's furrowing her brow slightly at the holder boy. "You actually /bathed/ in that river?" she queries, shuddering slightly. She hasn't yet reached the point where she'll wash in non-heated water apparently, not even in the summer. The added log gets a reluctant "Thanks." though, as she leans forward, holding her palms up towards the fire.

Iessrien drops down onto a log nearby, leaning forward with one arm on his knee, hand hanging down while the other uses to towel to fluff through his damp hair. "Sort of," is mumbled to the smith, without explanation, the words short, accompanied by te vague lifting of one shoulder in partial shrug. There's a soft snort about the log, though the holder doesn't appear anywhere near grumpy, just tired. Or preoccupied. Maybe he's learned better than to chat with the other candidate. He does tilt his head a little, so the fire's head can help dry those inky strands, though not close enough to be in danger of burning himself or setting fire to that towel.

Karona grunts vaguely at Iessrien, and drops her eyes to the fire. Perhaps not attempting to chat with the other candidate is mutual. There's a blink then, much delayed, and she tilts her head at the boy. "How do you /sort of/ bathe?" she asks, wrinkling up her nose. It's fair to say that she doesn't approve of less than a complete and total scrub, head to toe. Back at Xanadu, she'd bathe several times a day, in the hot springs.

Iessrien continues to fluff out his hair, shifting the towel occasionally to lean on the other arm and get the other side of his head. The dark locks reflect slivers of crimson and gold in the pre-dawn firelight, a hint that the inky strands are in fact not black but darkest brown. Pondwater-hued eyes are trained on the flames, flicking to Karona for a second at her question, then shifting back again to watch the fire, slowly working out the dampness from his hair. "Just my head," is muttered absently, response short as before, though if he'd scrubbed any other part of himself, who'd know anyway? He probably went alone and before anyone else was really awake; it's what he'd do in Xanadu, visiting the hotsprings when they were empty and no one else was usually about.

Karona snorts at the holder, and shakes her head, but she doesn't seem to have a comment, not even a simple complaint of 'boy!' Instead, the woman pokes more at the fire. Moments pass in silence, though the woman's frown is slowly changing to a scowl. Finally, she can hold her peace no longer: "What in the name of Faranth does being able to survive in the wilderness have to do with riding? Riders live in Weyrs, everyone knows that!" she blurts out, scowling at the fire.

Iessrien seems alright with the silence, finally getting his hair sufficiently dried that it's not dripping water down his neck, fingers used to slick dark strands back, away from his face as he drapes the damp towel over his shoulders. The lack of complaint, or condescending words might be appreciated as much as the fire's warmth, Iess not looking at Karona till she speaks again. He arches a brow slightly at her for a second, brushing slender fingers through his hair as he tilts it one way and another toward the fire. Shoulders give a brief shrug, the holder muttering, "You got me." He doesn't seem at first as ih he's going to go on, fingers running back through his hair and shoving it away from his forehead. "I have no idea what any of this crap is supposed to teach us," another soft snort given for that. He has no idea why they're out there, apparently, despite his seeming acceptance in doing what he's told. He hasn't managed to step put of line yet.

Karona frowns at the campfire. "It's a farce though. The point of survival camp is to /survive/. They're not going to put candidates at risk." she reasons, still scowling. "And… and there are /things/ out there. Living. Bugs and snakes and /pests/." she shudders. "Heard them, making their little bug-noises, all night. Ugh!" she shakes her head, looking a tad pale in the firelight.

Iessrien and Karona are sitting around a low-burning campfire, just before dawn, the holder boy with damp hair which he's drying and running long fingers through, the smith wearing her usual winter garb sans jacket. There are a few other candidates up already, though there's little activity, Iess continuing to work tangles out of his dark hair, and occasionally lifting the end of that towel draped over his shoulders, to fluff the strands here and there. "That's true," he shrugs, glancing again at Karona and then back to the flames, slight smirk crossing fine features, "If anything happened to me, there'd be shellshards to pay and then some. My father wouldn't stand for one of this sons being injured in something the weyr planned," apparently more assured by this than the idea that the weyr itself wouldn't put them in danger. As for bugs, a slight grimace flickers over his face, the holder muttering, "They could have at least given us decent cots." And suppressing his own vague shudder, at just the thought of.. /things/.

Karona's usual winter garb /is/ her usual summer garb, just with a jacket over the top, so there's not really much difference. She doesn't seem to find the summer weather at all uncomfortable, actually, she seems to be leaning /towards/ the campfire, hands held out for warmth. "Yeah?" she asks Iessrien, eyeing the boy up and down. "Yeah, I suppose not. Weyr wouldn't want to risk that. Still fairly reliant on the holds." Right… "Yeah, the cots… well, least we've got /tents/. Honestly, way they'd been talking, I half expected we'd get here and have nothing." she wrinkles up her nose. "…hey, did you happen to notice if they packed anything to eat?"

Iess' summer clothing seems to be fairly similar to what he usually wears, except in thinner fabrics, short-sleeved but still in dark colors. "Yeah," the holder confirms absently, apparently taking the state of affairs for granted as he leans slightly sideways toward the fire, fluffing out the hair on the back of his head with the towel. He snorts softly at that last part, pondwater-blue eyes going to their sleeping arrangements with a brief flicker of distaste in his expression, though no complaint about it is forthcoming. Still, the holdbred lad shakes his head slowly, sitting up again and telling Karona, "I think someone said we were supposed to find food here somehow. I don't really know. Maybe with a food shortage," lips twitching into a wry expression, "they didn't want to have to feed us if they didn't have to."

Karona snorts. "Food shortage isn't /that/ bad. Still /got/ plenty of food, there just isn't as much variety." she points out, with a roll of her eyes. "What I wouldn't give for a good chunk of herdbeast, instead of /fish/. So sick of fish." she grimaces. But, of fish, there's no shortage. It's probably the one thing the Weyr has plenty of. "Find food? Well, that'd explain the hunting knives…" she mutters. "Hey, how much do you remember of the classes, back at the Weyr?" she asks of Iessrien, brow furrowing. "Did they cover what things are safe to eat, and what aren't?" …yep. She's gonna die out here. On the other side of the fire, a man clears his throat - one of the AWLMs - the ones watching over the candidates precisely to avoid such poisonous errors.

At the mention of herdbeast, the holder's stomach gives a very audiable growl, the lad pausing amidst hair-fluffing with ponderwater-blue eyes flicking down in a briefly sheepish look before resuming the hair-drying. Iessrien's hands move back through silky-soft strands, dark and crimson-touched in the firelight, settling eventually into that styled cut, a little over-long but fairly neat as it dries. "Hmh, I don't mind fish," he shrugs absently, "Breakwater Hold has two fishing fleets. Fishing and farming are what bring in the marks for us," lips twitching again, though somewhat less wryly, "There's a river within walking distance. With a little time, I could probably rig up a fishing rod or.. something." Put all those crawly bug-things to good use, maybe. But his shoulders lift in another slight shrug, "I don't remember most of what we were told. Unless it grows on a Breakwater farmhold, I can't tell if it's edible. Maybe some of the others will know," glancing at the AWLM when the man clears his throat. His head cants slightly with a brief, "Sir," in lieu of a 'good morning.'

Karona lowers her voice a bit when the AWLM reminds them of his presence - the candidates might /feel/ alone, but the Weyr would never let them go off /on/ their own, AWLMs ensure that candidates are never free from supervision. They may not interfere, but if a candidate is in any danger, they'd make themselves known. Presumably. "I don't really mind fish, prefer it to herdbeast, /usually/. Too much of one thing though, urgh, not good." she grimaces. There's a vague nod for Iessrien. "Fishing… that's something I can do." She was among the candidates who helped catch and prepare the fish for that first story night. "…sort of. Not my strength." she admits, with a grimace. There's a glance around, though, and she frowns. "I don't know about northern foods - we must be northern, because it's summer - but if there's anything growing here that also grows around Ierne, I bet I could tell if it's edible. My mo— well, we used to go camping. When I was a kid." she explains. That AWLM apparently gets no acknowledgement, but he doesn't seem to notice.

Well, in /theory/ that's true. V'dim totally sent folks off on their own the day before, collecting firewood and water, though. Presumably someone had at least kept an eye out for folks returning in a timely fashion. Again the holder boy shrugs, not commenting on food variety, even if his mouth might twitch into something like distaste yet again. The mention of weather has him lifting his head to glance around, thoughtful now, mumbling, "..I wonder where we are." He might be listening to the woman talk, but there's no response for much of that, an absent, "I've never been camping before," added before he's returning to fluff a few damp spots in his hair with that towel across his shoulders.

Karona shakes her head slowly. "Well… camping is overrated, if you ask me. But she insisted, big on self-sufficiency, her favourite word after 'ale'." the woman rolls her eyes. "I know /how/ to pitch a tent, and what things around Ierne are safe to eat, but that's mainly from watching. Never had to do it for myself - my father said I wasn't old enough, saved me from that." she notes, with fondness in her tone. Right, so she's almost not useless up here. Great. "I wonder…" she murmurs, glancing around. "I wonder if there's some way to tell how far north we are… using compasses, maybe. They always point north, right? But closer to north you are, the more the needle swings if you walk east or west. I think." she theorises. Nerrrd. "…just doubt it'd be that extreme that we could note the difference, or know what it meant, I guess." she deflates, frowning at the fire.

"Who?" is asked blankly, Iessrien only sparing a vague glance Karona's way, looking past her toward the tents after a second. Yeah.. he hadn't caught that cut-off word at all. He wrinkles his nose, looking uninterested, or maybe just distracted, as his stomach issues another low grumble. "Never had to do any of this back home," is offered blandly, Iess apparently not intending to complain too much about their current situation. It isn't unbearable. ..Yet. The smith just gets a brief stare for the idea about a compass, but again Iessrien only shrugs a mumbled, "I guess you could, if there's someone here who brought one." He sounds somewhat dubious, but offers neither encouragement nor criticism.

Karona shrugs slightly. "Not important. My mother. Anyway…" she shakes her head, and moves on. Iessrien gets a raised eyebrow, after a moment. "…if… someone brought one?" she asks, hand reaching for a hide backpack on the ground beside her. It's tugged up, opened, and a leather sack is withdrawn. "They're in these, haven't you even /looked/ at yours yet?" she asks, or rather, nags. Ahem.

Iess just nods, not pressing further for information, though his brow does arch ever so slightly, gaze drawing back to the smith before flicking away again, one last fluff of his hair with the towel before he leaves the cloth to drape over his shoulders, dark strands shoved back from his face. Iessrien blinks when when Karona produces a compass, and for the first time this morning a slight smile is offered the smile, albeit somewhat sheepishly, as he admits, "I haven't yet." Shoulders lift in another shrug, though he glances back at his tent, now more curiously, "What else is in those?" No, he totally wasn't listening when V'dim listed all the contents off yesterday, and is either too lazy or not curious enough to bother checking his own, wherever he's stowed it.

Karona raises an eyebrow at Iessrien, then just shakes her head, and tugs open the leather sack, pulling things out. "Compass. Hunting knife - careful, it's sharp." But she's not handing them to Iessrien, she's laying them out on the ground between the two candidates. "Ah, some rope and cord, a bit of cloth," she pulls those out. "And, flint and steel." Those items are withdrawn, but /not/ put down. "…flint and steel are used to make fire." she explains, quickly dropping them back in the sack. No fire-tools for the Iess— wait, he already has them. Somewhere.

Iessrien remains slightly sheepish, though there's an easy sort of laziness as he settles back, bringing one knee up and resting his foot on the log, arm draped absently over it while the the other continues to brush fingers through his hair, despite the dark strands lying fairly neatly already. He watches Karona pull things out of the bag, pondwater-blues flicking to each item in turn. There's a soft snort at the warning about the knife, though he nods at the rest. He ignores the words about flint and steel, going back to tugging what few tangles he has out of his hair.

Karona starts gathering up the items, putting them away again. Her hand lingers ove the length of cord, frowning slightly at it. "Bet this'd make good fishing line." she suggests, holding it up a moment, then stashing it back in the sack. The other items are quietly picked up, and then the woman's brow furrows. "Never been camping? Not ever?" she asks of the holder, surprised. "I wish I had your childhood, sounds nice." she has to admit. Envious? Oh yes.

Iessrien nods absently about the cord, gaze flicking to it for a moment, and then away, that remark about the flint and steel apparently having soured his interest in the items. "Never," the boy affirms, about the camping, an odd look given to Karona for her commentary on his childhood. A vague frown touches his features, then, and he abruptly stands with a shrug, tugging the towel off his shoulders and muttering, "I'm a holder's son, of course it was 'nice'," voice dripping with what might be sarcasm, the acidity of his tone incongruent with the slightly distant expression on his face, gaze flicking only momentarily to Karona before he turns back toward the tents with a mumbled, "I should check on my stuff." In case it's walked off or something, obviously.

Karona glances up at Iessrien, then snorts. "I'm sure you hated every minute of it." she retorts, but she's quick to drop it when he moves off, turning her attention back to the fire. Occasionally she glances to the east, awaiting the sun. Once the holder is out of earshot, she mutters, "Why's it always the brats that never realise how good they have it?", though the question seems rhetorical.

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